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Gearing up for mocks: our top revision tips - image 2

Gearing up for mocks: our top revision tips

05.04.2024

As exam season approaches, many students are gearing up for their mock examinations as a way to prepare for the real deal. Mock examinations can be a great way to gauge where you stand in terms of your knowledge and understanding of the material. However, preparing for mocks can feel like a daunting task. 

In this blog post, we will discuss some top revision tips to help you make the most of your mock exam preparation.

1. Utilise active revision methods

Passive reading and highlighting may not be enough when it comes to retaining information when preparing for your GCSEs or A-levels. Instead, try using active revision methods such as practice questions, flashcards, and summarising notes. 

Mind mapping is a fantastic tool for visual learners; it helps in connecting ideas and concepts, making it easier to recall information during exams. The Pomodoro Technique, which involves studying in short, focused bursts (typically 25 minutes), followed by a five-minute break, can improve concentration and prevent burnout. Spaced repetition, revisiting material over increasing intervals, is another method proven to boost memory retention.

Regarding digital tools, apps like Quizlet allow you to create custom flashcards, which can be particularly useful for memorising key terms and dates. Trello or Microsoft To-Do can help you organise your study materials and track what you need to cover each day. 

Using these techniques and tools can provide structure to your revision, making the process more efficient and less overwhelming.

2. Take regular breaks: 

As previously mentioned, the Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that involves 25 minutes of concentrated work followed by a 5-minute break. This technique is based on scientific research that shows that our brains can only stay focused for about 45-50 minutes before requiring a break.

During your study breaks, engage in activities that are completely unrelated to your studies. This will give your brain a chance to rest and recharge. Examples include taking a short walk, stretching, or having a quick chat with a family member.

Remember that when it comes to studying, quality is more important than quantity. Short, focused study sessions with regular breaks can be more productive than marathon cramming sessions. 

Additionally, staying hydrated and having light snacks during breaks can help maintain energy levels and concentration. By scheduling these pauses, you're not losing study time, but rather improving your brain's ability to retain information and stay energised.

3. Create a study schedule:

A well-structured study schedule is like a roadmap to success. To create one, start by listing all the subjects and topics you need to cover. Estimate how much time you'll need for each based on their difficulty level and your familiarity with them. It's important to be realistic in your planning, so allocate more time to subjects or topics that you find challenging. 

To make your revision sessions more engaging and to cater to different learning styles, it's important to incorporate different types of learning activities into your schedule. You can dedicate time to reading, writing summaries, solving practice questions, and reviewing past papers. This variety can provide a more effective and well-rounded revision experience.

It's important to consider your personal productive times during the day. Are you a morning person or do you find your focus peaks in the evening? Schedule your most challenging study sessions during these peak times to optimise your learning experience. 

Creating a personalised study schedule is crucial for effective revision. To help you get started, we've developed a weekly revision planner. Customise your study plan to fit your needs by breaking down your revision into manageable weekly segments.

  • Photo of MyEdSpace weekly planner: here is a photo of our planner template for you to screenshot or take inspiration from:

  • Downloadable PDF of MyEdSpace weekly planner: click here for a downloadable version. 

 

Remember, starting your revision early and spreading it out over time is more effective than last-minute cramming. Use our planner to structure your study sessions and set yourself up for success.

4. Seek support from peers or teachers:

Collective learning is a powerful tool that should not be underestimated. If you are struggling to understand a certain topic, there is a high probability that others are also facing similar difficulties. 

To overcome this challenge, forming or joining study groups can be very helpful. It provides an opportunity for mutual support, sharing of knowledge, and clarification of doubts in a more interactive and engaging way. When selecting study partners, it is important to choose peers who are committed to their studies and have unique strengths that can benefit the group.

Teachers, tutors, and online forums are valuable resources for exam preparation. Seek their help and advice, and spend your time on online platforms productively. Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a strategic approach to understanding and mastering complex material.

5. Incorporating online study planner tools into your revision strategy:

As you gear up for your mock examinations, organising your study time effectively can be a game-changer. Here are some online tools offering free versions that can help streamline your revision schedule and enhance your study sessions:

1. Google Calendar: This tool is perfect for students who need a straightforward, accessible planner. Google Calendar allows you to block out study times, set reminders for upcoming mock exams, and create recurring events for regular study sessions. Its integration with other Google services means you can have all your study materials and schedules in one place. 

However, it lacks specific study-oriented features but excels in simplicity and accessibility.

2. Upbase: Ideal for students who prefer a more collaborative approach, Upbase offers task lists, calendars, and file storage all in one. You can organise your study tasks, share them with study partners, and track your progress. While it's more of a project management tool, its features can be very beneficial for group study sessions or when juggling multiple subjects. 

It might be more than needed for individual study planning but is excellent for group projects and comprehensive exam preparation.

3. Notion: Notion is a highly versatile tool that can be customised to fit any student’s study needs. From creating databases of study materials to setting up a personalized study calendar, Notion can handle it all. It's particularly useful for students who enjoy a high level of customisation and detail in their planning. 

The learning curve can be steep for new users, but once mastered, it offers unparalleled organisation capabilities.

4. My Study Life: Specifically designed with students in mind, My Study Life seamlessly integrates all aspects of academic life. It lets you track homework, assignments, and revision tasks alongside your exam schedule. The app is designed to replace your paper planner and can be accessed from any device. 

While it’s tailored for academic use, its features focus more on routine school activities and might lack the depth needed for intensive mock exam preparation.

Incorporating these tools into your study routine ensures that your revision is well-organised, efficient, and effective. Choose the one that best fits your personal study style and start planning your way to success in your mock exams.

6. Stress management and wellbeing:

Managing stress is very important for your well-being and academic performance. Regular physical activity, even short walks, can significantly reduce stress levels and improve your mood. 

Trying simple but effective exercises such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help calm your mind and reduce anxiety. It's also important to maintain a balanced diet; eating nutritious meals can provide the energy needed for effective studying.

Remember, it's okay to seek help if you're feeling overwhelmed. Talk to a teacher, parent, or counsellor if stress is impacting your ability to study or your mental health. They can provide support and strategies to manage your stress. You have to make sure that you have a balance between study and relaxation because this is key to maintaining your well-being during this busy time.

7. Tips for the day before and day of the exam:

The day before the exam, try to do a light review rather than cramming; focus on summarising key points or going over flashcards. Spend the evening relaxing and try to get a good night's sleep. On the exam day, make sure to have a healthy breakfast and arrive at the exam location early to avoid any last-minute stress. Bring all necessary equipment, such as pens, pencils, a calculator, and water.

During the exam, read all questions carefully and plan your time. Start with questions you feel confident about to build momentum. If you get stuck, move on and come back to it later. Remember to breathe and stay calm; it's normal to feel nervous, but taking deep breaths can help settle any anxiety.

8. Feedback and reflection:

After each mock exam, take the time to review your answers and any feedback provided. Identifying areas for improvement can help focus your revision more effectively. Reflect on which revision strategies worked best for you and which areas need more attention.

Keeping a revision diary can be beneficial. Note what study methods you used, how long you spent on each topic, and how you felt during study sessions. This can help you understand your learning habits and adjust your strategies accordingly. 

Reflecting on your progress and learning from feedback is essential for continuous improvement and confidence building as you approach your final exams.

Conclusion:

Preparing for mock examinations can be challenging, but with the right strategies in place, you can maximise your study efforts and perform well on test day. By utilising active revision methods, taking regular breaks, engaging in mock examinations under timed conditions, creating a study schedule, and seeking support from peers or teachers, you can set yourself up for success during mock exam season. 

Remember that practice makes perfect, so don't be discouraged by any setbacks along the way - keep pushing yourself towards improvement!

Author: MyEdSpace
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